Oxford vaccine almost ready for 2021 rollout

The Oxford University plans to present late-stage trial results on its Covid-19 vaccine sometime next month, raising hopes that the successful vaccine will begin to be distributed late December or early 2021, news wires reported. “I'm optimistic that we could reach that point before the end of this year,” Oxford Vaccine Trial Chief Investigator Andrew Pollard told British MEPs.

A vaccine that works is seen as a game-changer in the battle against the coronavirus, which has killed more than 1.2 million people worldwide so far, shuttered swathes of the global economy and turned normal life upside down for billions of people. Work on the Oxford vaccine began in January.

Pollard said working out whether or not the vaccine worked would likely come this year, after which the data would have to be carefully reviewed by regulators and then a political decision made on who should get the vaccine. “Our bit - we are getting closer to but we are not there yet,” he said. Asked if he expected the vaccine would start to be deployed before Christmas, he said: “There is a small chance of that being possible.”

The Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine is expected to be one of the first from big pharma to be submitted for regulatory approval, along with Pfizer and BioNTech's candidate. “If I put on my rose-tinted specs, I would hope that we will see positive interim data from both Oxford and from Pfizer/BioNTech in early December and if we get that then I think we have got the possibility of deploying by the year end,” Kate Bingham, the chair of the UK Vaccine Taskforce, told lawmakers.

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